More companies are beginning to realize the important role that their workforce plays in boosting productivity and helping the business grow. Investing in your workforce remains one of the best ways to secure the long-term success of any company.
To this end, HR professionals need to keep an eye out for emergent trends in the employee benefits space so they can offer competitive, useful and cost-effective support to their employees.
Here are some of the most influential trends that will define employee benefits in 2018 and beyond:
1. The value of Employee Assistance Programs
More companies are realizing the enormous benefits that Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide. EAPs are comprehensive assistance programs aimed at helping workers and their families deal with personal problems, mental health issues, substance abuse, and other challenges. EAPs typically address issues that may interfere with workplace productivity.
The important role of EAPs for assisting employees has caused their prevalence to grow quite a bit, from 31% of businesses offering them in 1985, to 75% of companies in 2009. EAP programs are also beginning to commonly include elder care, which helps employees do a better job taking care of aging parents and loved ones. Moving forward, we are likely to experience more EAPs being offered that address a wider variety of issues that may interfere with employee performance.
2. Flexible benefit options for contract workers
Today's workforce increasingly consists of temporary employees - freelancers or contractors. This also makes it necessary for businesses to design employee benefit programs that cover contract workers. These team members might not have the same visibility as full-time employees, but they can be just as vital. Contract workers are vulnerable to health and financial instability just like anyone else.
Based on these trends, it's likely you'll see more companies offering contract employees with benefits that will go towards ensuring these workers remain productive while working - even if they work remotely. Look for companies to use “contract benefits” as an important tactic in the war for contingent employee talent.
3. Assistance with student loans
As younger employees replace baby boomers in the workforce, many new workers are concerned about their student loan debt. The primary concern is shifting beyond a healthy 401(k) plan or having enough money in a retirement account. In 2018 and beyond, we are likely to see more employers developing benefit programs that address their workers’ student debt, since the amount of debt held by employees will only increase as baby boomers continue to exit the workforce.
Are you interested in making sure you stay current with upcoming trends in HR benefits? Schedule a demo with the team at Senior Providers Network to see how we can ensure your employee benefits packages have effective elder care resources that don’t break the bank.